Category Archives: Canon FD-Mount

135mm legacy Shoot out: SMC Pentax-M f/3.5 vs Canon nFD f/3.5 vs. Panagor f/2.8

Shoot out: SMC Pentax-M 135mm f/3.5 vs. Canon nFD 135mm f/3.5 vs. Panagor PMC auto tele 135mm f/2.8

In my search for a compact but good budget telelens I came across the SMC Pentax-M 135mm f3.5 and the Canon newFD 135mm f/3.5. Later, I also found a Panagor PMC auto tele 135mm f/2.8 in Canon FD mount. These lenses are cheap, light, and small, but how do they perform?

Disclaimer: I only tested one sample of the Canon and Panagor, and two samples of the Pentax. Since these lenses are old there might be more sample variation than usual, other samples might perform slightly better or worse. Both Pentax samples displayed similar performance. 

Left to right: Panagor, Canon, Pentax

Specifications

Specifications Canon newFD 135mm f/3.5 SMC Pentax-M 135mm f/3.5 Panagor PMC auto tele 135mm f/2.8 (FD)
Diameter 63 mm 63 mm 61 mm
Length 85 mm 66 mm 88 mm
Filter diameter 52 mm 49 mm 55 mm
Weight (ex. Adapter) 325 g 270 g 411 g
Aperture f/3.5-32 f/3.5-32 f/2.8-22
Minimal focus distance 1.3 m 1.5 m 1.5 m
Elements/groups 4/4 5/5 4/4*
Aperture blades 6 8 6

(*Based on the optical design of this lens for other mounts)
Continue reading 135mm legacy Shoot out: SMC Pentax-M f/3.5 vs Canon nFD f/3.5 vs. Panagor f/2.8

Review: Canon FD 300mm 1:2.8 L

The Canon FD 2.8/300 L was one of the most highly regarded manual super tele lenses in the 80s. Today it can be had for much less money and in this review I evaluate how it performs today on a modern mirrorless camera.

Image Samples

You can find all images shown in this image in full resolution in my Canon FD 300mm f/2.8 L flickr album.

Continue reading Review: Canon FD 300mm 1:2.8 L

Review: Canon FD 85mm 1:1.2 S.S.C. Aspherical

The Canon 1.2/85 is a legend of a lens and in this review I put it’s earliest incarnation to the test on my Sony a7II.

Specifications

Diameter 81 mm
Length 72 mm
Filter Thread 72 mm
Weight 756 g
Max. Magnification 0.1
Close Focusing Distance from the sensor 1 m
Number of aperture blades 9
Elements/ Groups 8/6, floating elements
The Canon FD 1.2/85 Aspherical usually sells for around $600 used at ebay.com (affiliate link). 
In Germany you can buy it used for around 650 at ebay.de (affiliate link). 

Image Samples

Continue reading Review: Canon FD 85mm 1:1.2 S.S.C. Aspherical

The Guide to Canon FD lenses on the Sony a7 series

Canon FD lenses on digital cameras

Introduction

This guide was written to give you a good idea what to expect from Canon’s older FD lenses, many of which still perform very well on modern digital cameras.

All tests are performed with the 24MP full frame Sony a7/a7ii. Our ratings are always based on using the lenses with these cameras, the evaluation will be a different one on a smaller sensor. To learn more about using manual lenses on the Sony a7 check our beginners guide.

Most of these summaries are based on our own experience but we also decided to also include lenses we haven’t used ourselves to pool useful information we found on the net which we have summarized based on our experience with reviewing lenses. We would also be very happy if you shared your own experience with Canon FD lenses we don’t have any reliable information on yet. We are quite picky with the information we use though. That’s because 95% of the information we come across is unreliable: Everyone has different standards, Person A might rate the very same lens as a great performer while person B thinks it’s total junk. So we are mostly interested in full resolution images taken with a fullframe camera including information on the aperture used.

Of course the list isn’t complete, it is work in progress and we are working at extending it but this will take it’s time.

Wideangle lenses

 Canon (n)FD 4/17

Status: Used by Jannik for a short time in the past17mm_a

  • At f/4 the center is quite good but…
  • … I’d recommend to stop down to f/11 for usable sharpness across the frame although it never gets tack sharp, partially because of the very strong lateral CA.
  • Very low distortion (the biggest quality of this lens, especially in the film era), bad flare resistance and 6-bladed aperture.
  • Medium size, and average price/performance ratio.
  • The age of this legacy lenses shows clearly when it iscompared to modern options. Nevertheless, it is pretty usable if you give the files some love in the post processing (remove CA’s and sharpening).

360g + adapter | $200 | technical datasample images |  user reviews

buy from ebay  (affiliate link)

2016-08-23_08-10-56

Continue reading The Guide to Canon FD lenses on the Sony a7 series